D&D Movie/TV First Footage of D&D Honor Among Thieves: Dungeons, Dragons, Teamwork, With Superhero Vibe

EN World member OB1 saw some of the first footage of next year's Dungeons & Dragon movie, Honor Among Thieves, confirming "dungeons, Dragons, and party teamwork with a bit of a superhero movie vibe". The roughly 30-seconds of footage was shown as part of Paramount's promotional reel played at CinemaCon.

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Here is a quick hit of what I saw. Note that the 30 seconds or so was split up over 7 or 8 smaller shots interspersed in a larger product reel for other Paramount product. I was focusing hard to recognize when they were showing Dad Hat (All credit to my co-worker for realizing that the title shortens to Dad Hat) footage, but it made it very tricky to really get the details for the scenes. I will say that the overall look was absolutely amazing for being this far out. Easily on par with what you would expect from a Marvel theatrical release. Costumes all looked good, sets all looked good.
  • Chris Pine on horseback riding next to Michele Rodriguez talking about 'needing a team for this'
  • A blue? dragon flying overhead away from camera while characters flee underneath on horseback
  • A big city, I'm guessing Waterdeep, from an overhead, aerial view
  • Sophia Lillis (I think) pulling back on a slingshot wristband to fire something (there were two moments of this)
  • Big action sequence in an outdoor arena like setting with pillars growing out of the ground that some heroes jump across while others fire off bows/magic,etc
  • Rege-Jean Page on horseback heading towards some ruins, reminded me of something straight out of an old module but I can't put my finger on which one. Sort of half, simple stone wall buildings on a hilltop spread out over 100 meters or so
  • A character in a long shot (I think Chris Pine but not sure as it was very quick) dancing? under an archway - reminded me more of being under Otto's Irresistible Dance than something he was doing on purpose. On the flip side, it could be a bard character spellcasting as I think he had an instrument in his hands (sorry bard haters)
  • A spell that felt like a wizard casting shield against an attack. I think it was Rege-Jean but can't be certain.
  • Don't remember seeing Hugh Grant in the footage, and no plot details
  • Definitely had a fun, action packed vibe to it. Definitely not grim-dark
As for the superhero vibe I got, yeah, it felt somewhat like a fantasy version of Guardians of the Galaxy. I could imagine the marketing campaign for this leaning into this is Marvel meets Game of Thrones as a way to make the concept accessible to a larger audience not fully familiar with D&D style medieval fantasy.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Oofta

Legend
In an ecosystem it doesn't matter if it's a large predator or a tiny plant, they are all equally critical.

The rest we kill and eat, kill for fun, or destroy their habitats, because they are "useless".

No, it's true for all worlds, monsters incredibly rare makes, if anything, less sense than monsters everywhere. And magic would change the way people live, build, produce food, communicate, organise their society, view the world. And that's before you get to the pro-active gods stirring the pot. Your world might make sense to you, but I assure you, anyone who wanted to could rip it to shreds. D&D functions because we choose not to look at the holes.

LOL. You know exactly how my campaign world works. Good to know.

I'm sure people could nit-pick my world. I don't have a world simulator super computer to run through scenarios. That doesn't mean it's as illogical as you claim. A world with magic and monsters would be different, doesn't mean we can't have a reasonable amount of verisimilitude and thought put into how things could function, at least at a high level.
 

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Yeah. Different people have different levels of verisimilitude. People with backgrounds in subjects like ecology or history are going to see problems which are not apparent to those without specialist training.
I don't think it even needs to be full-on specialist training. Some people have minds that work in such a way that they spot things that are missing or don't make sense more naturally, where others might never, and sometimes just seeing something once can forever change how you see things. For a crude example, loos (toilets or "bathrooms" to Americans). The first ever D&D adventure I read had a large house in it, and house had loos. Ever since then, I'm unable to take dungeons/mansions/etc. seriously or really believe in them if they're missing loos. And not just loos - refuse pits/piles, food storage and preparation areas (where appropriate), sleeping areas, etc. Access to water for humanoids. A lot of adventure writers manage to remember that, say, kitchens and bedrooms exist, but to forget that loos do, and forget that you kind of hard-need access to water or similar for humanoids to live somewhere.

I need to know where the smoke is going from that big fire they have. Where do they poop? Where does their trash go? How do they get food in? What do they do with dead bodies? etc.

This isn't something I was trained for - well it kind of is (as I did archaeology academically), but that came later and just reinforced it (indeed the mindset is beneficial to have as an archaeologist) - even as a kid, this stuff really concerned me, and it became obvious that there was this sharp split among adventure writers, where some of them always thought of at least 90% of this stuff (nobody remembers everything all the time), and others basically didn't think about this sort of logic at all, except occasionally as an afterthought, and things were just there because they were "cool" or to hold an encounter or whatever.

Bizarrely, over time, it feels like the second lot, who I expected to become less of a thing, have become the main group, and adventure writers who do think stuff through have become relegated to 3PPs and so on. Maybe that's totally fine, but it absolutely supports your contention that D&D works because people don't think about it too hard.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
There is a decent D&D novel?

EDIT: Also, I am not sold on movies being based on novels. I good movie is best when it accepts its media. A novel adaption, not matter how good the novel, can come out pretty bad if they don't realize that.
Depends on what you mean by "decent." If you mean "decently entertaining", then sure there are. If you mean "decently engaged with the Great Ideas of literature" then no, not really.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It you tried to work through the implications of D&D magic and monsters in a world with verisimilitude, you would end up with something that did not bare any resemblance to either the real world or any D&D setting.

D&D only works if you can accept six impossible things before breakfast.
Well, sure, and I love it. But I can appreciate how someone might have differing tastes.
 

Oofta

Legend
I don't think it even needs to be full-on specialist training. Some people have minds that work in such a way that they spot things that are missing or don't make sense more naturally, where others might never, and sometimes just seeing something once can forever change how you see things. For a crude example, loos (toilets or "bathrooms" to Americans). The first ever D&D adventure I read had a large house in it, and house had loos. Ever since then, I'm unable to take dungeons/mansions/etc. seriously or really believe in them if they're missing loos. And not just loos - refuse pits/piles, food storage and preparation areas (where appropriate), sleeping areas, etc. Access to water for humanoids. A lot of adventure writers manage to remember that, say, kitchens and bedrooms exist, but to forget that loos do, and forget that you kind of hard-need access to water or similar for humanoids to live somewhere.

I need to know where the smoke is going from that big fire they have. Where do they poop? Where does their trash go? How do they get food in? What do they do with dead bodies? etc.

This isn't something I was trained for - well it kind of is (as I did archaeology academically), but that came later and just reinforced it (indeed the mindset is beneficial to have as an archaeologist) - even as a kid, this stuff really concerned me, and it became obvious that there was this sharp split among adventure writers, where some of them always thought of at least 90% of this stuff (nobody remembers everything all the time), and others basically didn't think about this sort of logic at all, except occasionally as an afterthought, and things were just there because they were "cool" or to hold an encounter or whatever.

Bizarrely, over time, it feels like the second lot, who I expected to become less of a thing, have become the main group, and adventure writers who do think stuff through have become relegated to 3PPs and so on. Maybe that's totally fine, but it absolutely supports your contention that D&D works because people don't think about it too hard.

Just because the maps you used didn't have loos doesn't mean that no one thinks of these things. Indoor plumbing was extremely rare until quite recently unless you were wealthy, but yes I think of waste disposal and whatnot when designing locations. As an example I don't usually bother with detailed, but had to when I was running games online. In one case the group had to investigate a cottage and asked what that little building to the side was. I had included an out-house.

Screenshot 2022-05-02 115136.jpg


Now of course I only showed a small garden, if I had more time (or cared) I probably would have added a small side shed, maybe indicated where there was a root cellar and so on.

But some people do think about where people poo and what they do with refuse. I try to make a world that's logical, even if there's no reason to go into high levels of detail.
 

If you mean "decently entertaining", then sure there are.
Even that is pushing it a bit with the bulk of D&D novels I would suggest, though I will be the first to admit I haven't read any published in the last decade, so perhaps things have improved.
Just because the maps you used didn't have loos doesn't mean that no one thinks of these things. Indoor plumbing was extremely rare until quite recently unless you were wealthy, but yes I think of waste disposal and whatnot when designing locations. As an example I don't usually bother with detailed, but had to when I was running games online. In one case the group had to investigate a cottage and asked what that little building to the side was. I had included an out-house.
I mean, @Oofta my dude you know I did archaeology, right? I did just mention it! So I know indoor plumbing is rare, but there still needs to be logic, it still needs to be considered where people are going, where their refuse is going, where their food is coming from, where their water is coming from. By loos I just mean "somewhere to poop", whether it's a latrine, a stream, hole into a lower cavern, or whatever.

And whilst I don't buy adventures as much any more, certainly over 3E-4E-5E I've seen more and more in the way of dungeons, mansions, and castles which lack basic amenities. Which to me really hugely damages immersion and verisimilitude, and really tells me the person who wrote the adventure never stopped to imagine it with any vividness, never put themselves in the situation really. If you're telling me that this group of 24 hobgoblins has been living here for most of a year, but there is just one room where they sleep and have a firepit and nothing else, I'm going to have questions for you. I'm pretty sure even hobgoblins need to drink.

And what I've found is, I dunno if this is specific to the people I've played with, but an awful of players make good use of these kind of stuff in planning how to do stuff, because the need for food/water, the need to get rid of waste/refuse etc., can all be utilized and manipulated.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Even that is pushing it a bit with the bulk of D&D novels I would suggest, though I will be the first to admit I haven't read any published in the last decade, so perhaps things have improved.
Your mileage may vary, for sure. In the last 6-7 years, Salvatore is the only active D&D novelist with new Drizz't stuff, but I haven't read anything since the late 90's. And as a teen, I was entertained.
 

Oofta

Legend
Even that is pushing it a bit with the bulk of D&D novels I would suggest, though I will be the first to admit I haven't read any published in the last decade, so perhaps things have improved.

I mean, @Oofta my dude you know I did archaeology, right? I did just mention it! So I know indoor plumbing is rare, but there still needs to be logic, it still needs to be considered where people are going, where their refuse is going, where their food is coming from, where their water is coming from. By loos I just mean "somewhere to poop", whether it's a latrine, a stream, hole into a lower cavern, or whatever.

And whilst I don't buy adventures as much any more, certainly over 3E-4E-5E I've seen more and more in the way of dungeons, mansions, and castles which lack basic amenities. Which to me really hugely damages immersion and verisimilitude, and really tells me the person who wrote the adventure never stopped to imagine it with any vividness, never put themselves in the situation really. If you're telling me that this group of 24 hobgoblins has been living here for most of a year, but there is just one room where they sleep and have a firepit and nothing else, I'm going to have questions for you. I'm pretty sure even hobgoblins need to drink.

And what I've found is, I dunno if this is specific to the people I've played with, but an awful of players make good use of these kind of stuff in planning how to do stuff, because the need for food/water, the need to get rid of waste/refuse etc., can all be utilized and manipulated.

You know how rare indoor plumbing was, most people do not. I assume you also know that this varied significantly depending on location and time frame. Public shared privies were quite common, but people often just relieved themselves wherever convenient. But these comments are for everyone else.

In any case, I'm just saying that some people think about this stuff, some people think about it but it's not an important detail so it's not included, some people cram as many monsters into a series of rooms as they can. For me? I try to make it logical. Which is why my map had a well and an outhouse. My cities have public wells, privies and bathhouses as well. If I draw out a keep I figure out where the food is prepped, stored and so on. On the other hand, one of the many reasons I don't do published adventures all that often is because, like you, too often the people who write stuff like this don't include it.
 

So many genre movies hinge on that. It's the difference between that time the protagonist of Yor, Hunter from the Future uses a dead pterodactyl as a hang glider and Tony Stark not having died of countless secondary crash impacts in his first movie. One has us cheering the action and the other, well, maybe charitably we'd cheer its absurdity.*

*Not going to lie, I love Yor, but it's an absurd, dumb as rocks cheapie.

D&D only works if you can accept six impossible things before breakfast.

I grew up reading countless D&D novels as a kid (though I was lucky to have discovered Tolkien, Thieves World, Moorcock, and others around the same time). I have a great deal of nostalgia for them, but the quality is definitely mixed. Some hold up fine without nostalgia, many do not. You could make a movie adaptation of them, but of the number of total D&D fans in the world, the percentage that remember those books is likely fairly low, based on what we know of the D&D audience demographics.
 


The first ever D&D adventure I read had a large house in it, and house had loos. Ever since then, I'm unable to take dungeons/mansions/etc. seriously or really believe in them if they're missing loos.
Toilets in dungeons is something of a running gag with our group. They get more excited when the find a toilet than when they find a dragon horde. Scarcity I guess!

But people notice things that relate to there own specialisms. I often wonder, "how many more things do I not notice because I don't know about that stuff?" I mean there is an awful lot more stuff I don't know about than I do.
So many genre movies hinge on that. It's the difference between that time the protagonist of Yor, Hunter from the Future uses a dead pterodactyl as a hang glider and Tony Stark not having died of countless secondary crash impacts in his first movie. One has us cheering the action and the other, well, maybe charitably we'd cheer its absurdity.*
Tony Stark just has lots of hit points (although nothing like as many as Indiana Jones). Really, when people talk about the willing suspension of disbelief, it's not just a case of believing magic (or superpowers) are real, it a matter of turning a blind eye to all the other absurdities that go with the genre.
 

Ironically, at least one of the Thieves World authors went on to write ... D&D novels.
One of the reasons the TSR novels managed to be so constantly poor might be tight deadlines. Many of the authors might have been capable of doing better had they not been writing in such a rush.

But any fantasy novel well known enough to turn into a movie doesn't need the D&D branding.
 
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Al2O3

Explorer
I'm not a big fan of movies as a format in general, but an entertaining Guardians of the Galaxy-like D&D-movie does sound interesting!

And in terms of basing it on a novel, I'm glad they didn't. I think the most interesting novels tend to not translate well to film. The thoughts and perspectives that make novels such as those in the Brimstone Angels saga good don't really work in the more visual format.

Also, the series I mentioned above is one of my favourites av all time, so I certainly disagree that there are no decent D&D novels. Of course, if you haven't read D&D novels in the past decade, you would have missed them. I didn't read any D&D novels and had no interest in the Forgotten realms before 5e came out.
 

It may go the other way though, the movie will probably get a novelisation. I wonder who they will get to write it? I expect Salvatore will at least be asked, but I have doubts about his ability to write humour, given he created Pikel the dwarven doodad.

Now, if they could persuade Neil Gaiman to write it we might finally get a decent D&D novel.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
It may go the other way though, the movie will probably get a novelisation. I wonder who they will get to write it? I expect Salvatore will at least be asked, but I have doubts about his ability to write humour, given he created Pikel the dwarven doodad.

Now, if they could persuade Neil Gaiman to write it we might finally get a decent D&D novel.
Or Jim Butcher
 



UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I would love a D&D adjacent series from Butcher or Aaronivich in an Urban Arcana setting

Not the stuff they are doing butt utilizing some D&D tropes. Or fam any writer really.
 



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